Jamal Alkirnawi is an entrepreneur and the founder and executive director of A New Dawn in the Negev, a Bedouin-Jewish organization in Israel, that has operated for over ten years. A passionate visionary, the organization is a manifestation of his desire to raise the level of education for the Bedouin community in Israel’s Negev region.
Jamal’s deep experience in the field sources from his bachelor’s degree in public health administration and two graduate degrees: a master’s of social work from McGill University (Canada) with a specialization in peacebuilding and civil society, and a Mandel MBA in social leadership from his alma mater, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
A social activist since youth, Jamal grew up in the Bedouin community in Israel and rose through the university system, integrating his own experiences and successes to become the academic counselor for Arab students at Ben-Gurion University, where he worked for 7 years. This has had a great impact on rising graduation rates, as well as better education for bedouins.
Jamal believes that the key for the Bedouin development is through superior education. A high quality of education will prevent the city’s high drop-out rate and the risky behaviors practiced by Bedouin youth; teaching them to become responsible, ethical, and committed citizens in Israeli communities, while providing programs for High tech education. This process must begin in infancy, he asserts, combatting the gaps between Arabs and Jews that begin at birth and continues on through the lifecycle. A New Dawn is committed to this ideal through all of its programs and believes that it should be the highest public priority. His vision is for Bedouin in the near future to be involved with global development, volunteering in Israel, and interacting with other international communities.
For his innovative work in the community, Jamal was recognized in 2014 by the Recanati-Kop-Chais-Rashi Award for Entrepreneurship in Social Work (Honorable Mention). He was recognized by the Tikvah Fund president Reuven-Rivlin with the Israel Hope award in 2018 at Ben-Guirion University. He is a gather fellow of the Goldin Institute (https://www.goldininstitute.org/).
He continues to travel internationally to increase awareness of Bedouin community and culture, as well as to network for more partnerships to participate in exchange and improve educational programs. A New Dawn in the Negev recently hosted international exchange students, as well as bringing Bedouin students abroad to visit, as well as cultural programs to bring the Bedouin Negev communities into close friendship with local communities.